Chef Tomo’s Rise From Dishwasher To Restaurateur

Chef Tomo, GyuSan

ARMED with a degree in psychology, Tomoyuki Kiga eschewed the corporate life, opting instead to make the heat of the kitchen his preferred place.

The Culinary Director of GyuSan has taken a long path from a nonentity in the kitchen to a restaurant co-owner.

The Indonesian of mixed Japanese and Chinese parentage grew up in Jakarta and found the chaos and system of the kitchen to his liking. He worked in kitchens in the US, India and Singapore, spending a lot of his time with celebrity chef Akira Back.

In Singapore, he met Liang Shuo Kuo, whose company, Responsible Seafood, imported sustainable produce, and which catered to Tomo’s specific needs. That business relationship developed into a friendship and eventually, the idea of a beef restaurant, GyuSan, was realised.

The two outlets — Guoco Tower and Forum The Shopping Mall — have been satisfying those who fancy delicious Hamburg patties, lip-smacking sando sandwiches, juicy steaks, yummy Wagyu fries and an assortment of beverages.

The casual atmosphere with the personal grill, glowing coals and the aroma of fresh meat on the fire, makes for a relaxed environment to unwind.

STORM-ASIA chats with the co-founders Chef Tomo and Shuo about the business behind the beef.

Who Is Chef Tomo?

Becoming a chef is a decision that requires mental fortitude. Chef Tomo discovered this the hard way, but like a spring, has always bounced back when it gets too hot in the kitchen.

When Tomo Met Shuo

The business partners have big plans for GyuSan. In the first four months, the new outlet at Forum has already produced 11,000 patties. And there’s talk of more restaurants in the region.

Chef Tomo: What’s His Beef?

Chef Tomo talks about the various cuts that go into making his Hamburg patties.

Patting Patties

What’s the best way to enjoy a Hamburg patty? Chef Tomo has shaped 11,000 patties in four months, and the end results are juicy.

Mixing And Matching Wagyu Beef & Condiments

To keep things fresh and exciting, there are various condiments available to mix and match with the Hamburg patty.

Working In An Open Kitchen

Chef Tomo’s kitchen at GyuSan, you can see what he’s up to.

Having grown up in a mix of cultures, Chef Tomo opts for greater expression through a variety of cuisines. 

Affordable Dining Trends

The move is towards less fussy and more social dining trends, reckons Chef Tomo.

Teaching & Growing The Biz

Everybody learns differently and Tomo is happy to teach and develop talent wherever he spots it.

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